NYC Is Razing and Rebuilding LGA, Everyone's Least Favorite Airport

A panel of architects, engineers, planners, and lawmakers evaluating the future of America’s most-maligned airport released the results of their research to the public today. Their first recommendation: Tear it down!

The panel was assembled by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who today announced a plan to demolish and rebuild much of LGA today alongside Vice President and noted LaGuardia hater, Joe “I must be in some third world country” Biden. Last year, Cuomo staged a design competition that saw six major architecture and planning firms imagine the future of the airport. Today, Cuomo said that a $4 billion plan to rebuild the airport is just waiting on approval from Port Authority, which will undertake the project alongside Delta.

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So, what do Cuomo, Biden, and their advisory panel envision? The report begins with a few sick burns on LGA, which at this point feels like kicking a dead airport, but whatever. Behold their montage:

As someone who spent a decade with LGA as their home airport, I can tell you all of this is realistic, except the cab line should be far longer.

Anyways, the recommendations kicks off by suggesting the current central terminal—aka Terminal B—be torn down and replaced with “a unified airport terminal to form a complete, efficient, and appealing experience for passengers.” The architecture, they add, should be elegant and naturally-lit, with high ceilings and a design that “passengers intuitively understand.”

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This would create a long central terminal, where the gates themselves are accessed by foot over long “sky bridges” high enough from the tarmac to allow planes to pass beneath them. The panel says this would cut down on idling plans and, thus, emissions.

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Another recommendation: The creation of a water taxi that would let you get to the airport by boat. The report points out that such a taxi existed until 2000, but would be much cheaper and faster to operate today since water taxis have evolved in the 15 years since.

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What else? Better parking, better access to rental car stations, better noise reduction, a redesigned road network surrounding the exits, and other ease-of-use improvements like a hotel and conference center. The plan depends largely on the Port Authority’s approval now. Cuomo today claimed that construction could begin as soon as the first half of next year, while the entire project could be finished by 2021.

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One qualm? Cuomo’s characterization of today’s LaGuardia as “un-New York,” according to the NYT. He couldn’t be more wrong—there’s nothing more New York than flying into an absolute dump and feeling sweet relief at finally being home anyways.


Contact the author at kelsey@Gizmodo.com.

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